Just days before the first Tesla Semi battery-electric Class 8 truck is scheduled to be delivered to PepsiCo, Tesla CEO Elon Musk triggered a wave of praise, skepticism, and speculation with a single-sentence Tweet: “Tesla team just completed a 500 mile drive with a Tesla Semi weighing in at 81,000 lbs!”
Tesla team just completed a 500 mile drive with a Tesla Semi weighing in at 81,000 lbs!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 27, 2022
The tweet drew more than 20,000 replies, many of them requests for more details than the skimpy announcement. What was the route? Were there grades? What were the road conditions? Average speed? What about charging? Cost per mile? How much of that 81,000 pounds was the truck and its batteries?
Tesla has announced an official delivery event for the Tesla Semi on Dec. 1. This comes five years after Musk’s flashy introduction of the truck. He has said again and again that Semi production was just around the corner, only to be delayed again and again.
As Fred Lambert with Elektrek pointed out, “It seems a bit last minute to complete the first 500-mile drive, considering Tesla is expected to deliver production versions of the truck to customers this week.”
PepsiCo confirmed in an October tweet that it is expecting its first electric Tesla Semis on Dec. 1 to support its Frito-Lay plant in Modesto, California, and its PepsiCo beverages plant in Sacramento.
Musk's tweet drew more than 20,000 replies from both fans and skeptics, as well as from competitors:
Finally!— Renault Trucks (@RenaultTrucksCo) November 28, 2022
Welcome to the electric truck game, @elonmusk.
If you need advice, we already have thousands of electric trucks on the road...
And a couple of recent Tesla Semi sightings:
Took this pic on I-80 east of Reno There where two of them running together. I'm guessing they where heading back to the Tesla Gigafactory. Maintained 70 mph up and down hills. Very awesome!! pic.twitter.com/XJwoFPU65C— Stevey (@Woodenickel3) November 28, 2022
I saw it on the road! It was going 60 mph tho. Quite slow for an 80 mph speed limit area. 🤔 But it's perfect for California where truck speed limit is 55 mph. pic.twitter.com/FCyXN7IDfu— Joshua (@Mr_Yoshi18) November 28, 2022